Rivers State House of Assembly, yesterday, considered and approved a request by Governor Nyesom Wike to take a loan of N20 billion loan from Access Bank Plc.
In a letter entitled “Request For Approval To Borrow N20billion Loan Facility From Access Bank Plc to finance major ongoing road projects,” to the House through the Speaker, Governor Wike stated that the facility is intended to complete some uncompleted road projects embarked by the previous administration as well as for new road projects to be embarked by the present administration.
The governor stated that the loan will be repaid through the Internally-Generated Revenue, IGR, account of the state domiciled with Access Bank Plc, saying the projects when completed, will accelerate economic activities in the state.
“Pursuant to our resolve to continue viable ongoing projects, government has met with contractors handling major roads construction in the state with a view to mobilizing them back to site. The contractors handling road projects awarded by the previous administration have indicated their willingness to mobilize to site and continue with construction work as soon as funds are released to them.
“As a result, we have considered it expedient to mobilize the contractors of the following ongoing road projects subject to availability of funds; Abuloma-Woji road, Woji Akpajo road, Rumuepirikom-Whimpey-Rumuolumeni Road, Ozuoba-Ogbogoro-Rumuolumeni Road, Rumuepirikom-Eleproanwa Road and Igwuruta-Eneka-Elimgbu-Rumukwurushi Road.
“In addition, we have also concluded plans to embark on the construction of the following new roads and other projects; Elelenwo-Akpajo Road, Oroigwe Road, Igwuruta-Chokocho Road, the rehabilitation, fencing and construction of internal roads in Government Girls Secondary School, GGSS, Rumuokwuta.
“Mr Speaker, it is important to reiterate that these projects when completed will accelerate economic development in the state and improve the social wellbeing of our people. However, since the state government has no funds in its coffers, we will be unable to mobilize any contractor to site without first finding the funds on willing development partners. Accordingly, we approached Access Bank Plc, which has graciously agreed to advance the state government with a loan facility of twenty billion naira only for the purpose of funding these projects.
“While this money is not enough to complete these projects, it will enable the contractors to continue with construction and achieve some reasonable milestones. We shall use the state’s Internally-Generated Revenue, IGR account with the lender-bank to secure and comfortably service this loan”, the letter read in part.
The 29 lawmakers present at the sitting unanimously voted to approve the request after some of the lawmakers debated on it.
Hon Jones Ogbonda, representing PHALGA I and Leader of the House, Hon Martin Amaewhule, respectively, said the governor was keeping in his campaign promises by striving to complete projects embarked by the previous administration. They noted that bad roads have contributed to crime rate, including rape, in the state. Ogbonda, also called on the House to set up an ad hoc committee to monitor the projects as part of its oversight functions.
However, the member representing ONELGA II, Hon. Nathaniel Uwaji and his Tai counterpart, Hon. Sylvester Mgbar, harped on the need for the state government to consider rural communities in road projects.
According to Uwaji, ONELGA contributes about 55 percent of the IGR, which will be used to repay the loan, but lacks passable roads.

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